Women have been told that they need to fit an ever-changing beauty standard for centuries. Whether it’s wearing corsets to shrink their waists, binding their feet to make them smaller, or blackening their teeth with charcoal, women everywhere have always been told how to look.
Since the 70s, being skinny has become the ideal. However, some people have been fighting back and urging women everywhere to accept their bodies as they are. Although this may sound like a good thing, people have stopped caring about their health because of it. Sadly, body positivity stops being positive when it forgets about health.
This Movement Isn’t About Empowerment
It stopped being about women’s empowerment a long time ago. Now, before you come after me with pitchforks and torches, hear me out for a minute. Yes, body positivity started as a way to let bigger women know that they are still beautiful and valid. It was a way for them to wear what they want to and not feel like they’re being judged for it. However good that movement was then, it’s not how things work now.
Somewhere along the line, things changed. Women stopped fighting for just the right to love their bodies. Instead, they started fighting to be the ideal beauty standard. For a while now, skinny has reigned supreme, but now plus-sized women want that crown.
If body positivity were still about real positivity, there wouldn’t be any crown to fight for. It would be about curvy women, thin women, and everyone in between feeling like they can still live their lives and be whoever they want to be without being judged for it. It shouldn’t just be about changing who’s on top.
It’s Become Dangerous
Yet, it isn’t just the radical changing of standards that’s an issue, it’s also the effect that this has on people’s health. People aren’t learning to love themselves because they don’t love themselves enough to look after their own health. Along with that, some are evening encouraging others to forget about their wellbeing too in favor of being as big as they want to be, regardless of health.
Tessa Holiday, the first size 22 model in the world has tweeted things such as “If you want someone to preach health over self-love, I’m not your girl.” One Twitter user with the username @brendita_gomez recently tweeted “Living my best life while you busy trying to lose weight to not look like me.”
Normalizing obesity isn’t empowering, it’s putting people at risk.
Of course, thin doesn’t always mean healthy and big doesn’t always mean unhealthy but being extremely overweight or obese puts you at risk for a wealth of illnesses. For example, 2/3 of women in the US are overweight and many of them have issues such as heart problems or diabetes.
So, What is The Real Problem?
The issue doesn’t lie with who’s on top of the food chain in terms of the ideal body. The real problem is that women are constantly told that they need to fit a standard which is often unattainable or risky.
No one should be shamed for the way that they look. No one should feel like they need to starve themselves to be skinny or stuff themselves with food to get curves. We should be telling women that being healthy is more important than being sexy. Although society constantly wants to shove its idea of what’s attractive down our throats, don’t listen to it. Take care of yourself, love yourself, and be the best version of you that you can be.
Love yourself enough to take care of yourself.
Body positivity has turned into something negative and alarming in recent years. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t change it. Instead of encouraging women to be under or overweight, let them know that healthy is better. It doesn’t matter if their version of healthy is slender, athletic, or curvy as long as they’re happy and well.
Do you agree that body positivity needs to think about health too? Share this article with your friends and share your opinion with them.